It’s how I deal.

I have hated confrontation of any kind for as long as I can remember. The littlest things, like CALLING TO ASK A STORE’S HOURS, would cause ridiculous amounts of anxiety. I’d pace around, chew my fingernails, and completely obsess until I finally got it over with.

The internet became popular when I was in my very early teens. Remember when AOL would mail out those “10 Hours Free” CDs? You know, back in the dial-up days? (Shudder.)

I was terribly addicted to chat rooms back then and would lose all track of time talking to strangers. But, before I’d be able to use the computer, I’d have to ask my step-dad. Who was awesome! And never said no! And why did I get all nervous to ask him EVERY SINGLE TIME!?

I would sit there next to him on the couch while he watched some crazy boring documentary on the History channel, trying to work up the nerve to ask.

“Sure, Steph,” he’d say. Without a care or second thought.

The Husband says some people just can’t handle hearing the word “no.” I wonder if it’s as simple as that. I do hate hearing “no.” And, despite what you might think, it’s not because I’m a spoiled brat, but because, for some inexplicable reason, I take it personally and my feelings get hurt. Like, did I do something wrong?

This is completely ridiculous. The rational side of me understands that. The irrational side is much louder and more aggressive and, well, kinda bitchy.

Eventually, I got a job and I was forced to talk to people all day long. Both over the phone and in person. So, now it’s not that I’m afraid to talk to people. I just don’t want to. Seriously, the hospitality industry will ruin people for you, too. So will driving in southern California, but that’s neither here nor there.

After confrontation, I tend to shut down. I avoid the phone and people in general. I hide away in my room and watch TV. I’m not pouting or licking my wounds, it’s just my way of collecting my thoughts and recharging my battery, so to speak.

I’ve always felt that other people take a lot of energy out of me. Some more than others. And sometimes, after an especially difficult encounter, I take a very long time to get back to “normal.”

Since The Hiccups, I have completely ignored my cell phone and e-mail. It is taking an incredibly long time for me to adjust and get back into the normal routine of things. Slowly, but surely, I’m getting there.

Last night I actually unloaded my camera’s memory card. And I even opened Photoshop! And then I closed Photoshop. And then I went back to watching TV.

Baby steps, people.

I feel bad for neglecting my family. Especially my mom and sister, who I know worry. I don’t mean to ignore them, but when I hit “reply” on an e-mail or text message with the intention of telling them I’m fine, everything’s okay, don’t worry! I wind up staring at the screen, unable to muster the energy that this simple act requires.

Am I coming off as big a jerk as I think I am? Oh well. My blog and all that.

This morning I received an e-mail from my mom telling me she was there for me and she loved me and she was worried.

I finally responded to both her and my sister.

Okay, you guys need to relax a little. I’m fine, I promise. I haven’t answered the phone ’cause I really just don’t want to talk about “it.” (The Husband) and I are having some issues, but we’re trying to work through them. That’s all I’m going to say about it. I’m sorry, but I feel like I’ve talked about it so much already that now it’s the LAST thing I want to talk about and I’m not going to answer the phone again until I know that you’re calling to just shoot the shit. (I really love that phrase.) I love you both and I really am grateful to know you’re both there if I need you. And I hope you know I’m here if you need me. You’ll just have to text me to let me know it’s about YOU and not ME and then I’m totally there for you. Please don’t worry about me. I’m F.I.N.E.* And I promise I’ll leave a suicide note if it comes to that.That’s supposed to be a joke. Geez. Lighten up. 😉

Ten minutes later, my mother showed up at my hotel. With a pink pig and lots of chocolate. She knows me very well. I hope she knows that this is just my way of dealing with things.

*Fucked. Insecure. Neurotic. Emotional.

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9 Responses to It’s how I deal.

  1. TheresaG says:

    I wrote a nice post and accidentally deleted it. I'm not sure I'll ever capture that clarity again, but I'll try:I have issues with asking people for anything. Hubby teases me about it, and it's the Big Improvement we're focusing on at work too. I don't know why I cringe just thinking about asking someone something…I just do.I think for some people interacting with others takes more energy.I really think that's true when you're experiencing hiccups, regardless of what those hiccups involve.Whenever I go through hiccups I tend to shut down all but essential communication (I'm fine- same ol' same ol') and only that to the most essential people. THEN I have to figure out how to get the energy to communicate with all the people who were left in the dark for however long it took to get past the hiccups.So you're not alone in doing things this way.sigh. my first post was so much better. Treat yourself to something lovely.

  2. MichelleSG says:

    I'm with Theresa, go buy yourself something you really like, it'll make you feel good, promise! I turned off the ringer on my cell phone 2 months ago and I only answer it if it's my dad or my husband. Everyone else can pis off. I'm surprised how much I like not having a phone ring, and here I thought I was addicted. I don't bother too much with emails, I find that most people wither post up what they want with FB or on Twitter, email is almost passe, go figure.I can understand the fear of not wanting to ask people for something, I don't share that issue but I do understand the anxiety. I think (and this is only personal opinion, I'm really socially inept so take it with a grain of salt) that a lot of those kinds of fears come from a self confidence or the lack there of. Some time in high school I decided to lose the mousy feeling and tell myself I was the greatest thing in the whole wide world. It helped. A lot. Probably because I was young and stupid but if you're game it's worth a try. GO on with your bad self and view life in a Paris Hilton i don't give a crap kind of way. It's refreshing, unrealistic but who really cares right?

  3. Violet says:

    Since one of my credos is “they can't say yes if you don't ask” I don't share that anxiety. But I COMPLETELY understand your need to shut yourself away after (or during) a bout of the hiccups, however you define it. I call it “hibernating” and I have learned that it is part of my process. It gives me the time and mental space that I need to work things out in my head, even if I'm not actively thinking about those things. May I suggest Bakerella's brownies from January 11 to help you through. Sweet mother of God, are they good – and would go well with a nice martini, I'm sure.

  4. rory says:

    When I get the hiccups Miss Carol punches me. Try that?

  5. Gayle says:

    Stephanie, I can so relate to you. When I feel this way, I want to step back from the world and work though it by myself.

  6. I completely understand where you are coming from, because there are times when I just don’t want to talk to people or be spoken to. The problem is that my family and friends are not on the same page when I get in that mood. It’s hard to come out & say: “ Well, I actually don't want to talk to anyone, I don't want to smile at you, I don't want to have to listen to you or make conversation in the car, I can't be bothered being polite, or even answering you, so it's best if I stay at home/don’t pick up the phone”. Luckily your mother and sister seem to understand what you’re going through.Everybody needs to indulge in some peace and quiet every once in a while. Especially after experiencing hiccups.P.S. the suicide note joke cracked me up.

  7. amhealy says:

    There are tears in my eyes as I read your blog. Not only are you a great kid, but you are a great person. No wonder you are so missed when it seems you are in abstentia.

  8. amhealy says:

    And btw, it's “fucked up, insecure, neurotic, and emotional.”

  9. amhealy says:

    Shoot, it's “absentia.”

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